MESA, Ariz. -- The Dodgers make their first trip to HoHoKam Park in Mesa in two years, battling the Athletics in their new spring home on Friday afternoon. In need of some starting rotation stability or perhaps just reassurance, the Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw to the mound for his fourth start of the spring.
With news Friday morning that Hyun-jin Ryu received an injection in his shoulder and could open the season on the disabled list coming after two days of shortened, ineffective starts from Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson, the Dodgers rotation looks its most vulnerable right about now.
Kershaw is coming off a relatively shaky start of his own, walking three and failing to complete four innings last Sunday in Peoria against the Mariners. Nobody is particularly worried about Kershaw, of course.
He should pitch roughly five innings on Friday, and after he inevitably sorts things out expect far too many words to be written about Kershaw pitching to A.J. Ellis instead of Yasmani Grandal, who is in San Antonio for the two weekend exhibition games against the Rangers.
Kershaw will also hit on Friday, the first Dodgers pitcher to do so this spring.
Expected to follow Kershaw on the mound in Mesa on Friday are Adam Liberatore, J.P. Howell and David Aardsma.
The Dodgers did make a slight rotation switch for this weekend for the crew remaining in Arizona. a David Huff, who was originally slated to start Saturday with Zack Greinke in San Antonio, will now start Sunday vs. the Indians at Camelback Ranch. Huff's wife Lisa gave birth to a son on Thursday, Ethan Thomas Allen Huff.
Chad Gaudin will now start Saturday for the Dodgers at Salt River Fields against the Rockies.
Sonny Gray starts for Oakland on Friday, and among the scheduled A's pitchers to follow is Barry Zito, back with Oakland as a non-roster invitee